I couldn't tell you exactly the last time I purchased a new Colt 1911 but, I'm thinking it was the 1990's? It's not that I don't like them. I carried one for six years on active duty. I never had any problems annually qualifying with a 1911 and even earned a spot on my Brigade's pistol team with a ratty-looking issue-1911A1 after my armorer and I made a few improvements to the sights and trigger. When I got out, though, my interest in shooting went in a different direction (revolvers) and getting a 1911 for myself kinda got put on the back-burner.
I've gone thru a few 1911's since then (Dan Wesson, Springfield, Sig) but when I saw this Combat Commander at my LGS a few weeks ago, it was lust at first sight. I'll admit that I've always had a 'fetish' for Commanders. I like the feel. I like the balance compared to a standard size 1911 and now that shooting in bowling pin matches at my local club has become an obsession, I needed something in .45 ACP because the 9mm pistol I've been using for USPSA and falling steel matches just wasn't powerful enough to reliably knock pins completely off the table with one shot. Trust me, I tried to make 9mm work for pin matches but, unlike some clubs who cut 9mm shooters some slack by placing the pins a little closer to the edge of the table (like they do for .22), mine does not. .40 and .45 rules.
Yesterday, all I had time for between running errands was a quick trip to a local indoor range for a 100 round 'orientation' and functionality test. I took 50 rounds of Aguila 230gr FMJ, 50 rounds of Fiocchi 230gr FMJ, and 10 (each) of Federal Hydrashok 230gr JHP+P and Cor Bon 165gr JHP+P. I'm not normally a fan of indoor ranges and this one has notoriously bad lighting. Still, it was good enough for the intended purpose.
First 25 rounds, Aguila 230gr FMJ, 7 yards
LOL Not exactly my greatest effort, that's for sure. The lighting at this range is pretty awful, though. I started-out low-left and quickly figured-out that this pistol prefers a dead-center (vs six o'clock) sight picture that differs slightly from my CZ Custom Shadow SP-01. Good! I'll try to remember that during the heat of a match and usually, I wouldn't be all that happy about a 7 yard group, like that, but under the circumstances 50% is better than I expected and I can't blame the gun. It's going to be a peach for pins! I was spastic. New gun + too much coffee + being in a hurry + dude shooting an M1 Garand in the lane next to me + bad lighting = 7 yard groups that look like the photo above.
I currently own only two other 1911's: a Dan Wesson Specialist Commander that I purchased in 2016 and a Sig TTT I bought in 2013. Both are great pistols in their own ways but, neither one shoots as softly as my new Combat Commander and that's what kind of baffles me. There is no snappiness to this Colt. Even shooting Cor Bon and Federal JHP+P proved to be very pleasant and controllable. Why? According to Colt, recoil is significantly mitigated by their dual recoil spring design.
And if this is really the reason the pistol shoots as softly as it does, my hat's off to Colt. The solution borders on ingenious: incorporate a smaller spring to go on the guide rod and ride inside the larger recoil spring. The recoil that occurs is so manageable, it almost reduces it to the level of some 9mm 1911's I've shot in the past. Whatever the reason, though, this new Combat Commander is one of the most comfortable 1911's I've ever shot, bar none.
Trigger pull is right around 5 lbs. (by my best guesstimate) with very little take-up and a nice, crispy break. This also was a pleasant surprise. If I wanted to CCW a 1911 and didn't care that there were lighter, higher-capacity options available, this would probably be one I'd consider.
The Combat Commander is like buttah. I know it's not unusual to experience a malfunction or two when shooting a brand new 1911 for the first time but I did not experience any issues. 50 Aguila FMJ, 50 Fiocchi FMJ, 10 Cor Bon JHP+P and 10 Federal Hydrashok JHP+P all ran flawlessly, however, I did perform a basic field strip, clean (Ballistol) and re-lube (FP-10) before going to the range. I tend to run my 1911's a little on the, uh, 'juicy' side but not necessarily spraying oil back on to my glasses while shooting. When I see oil leeching-out from the usual places on the frame and slide, I'm satisfied.
Overall, I really like the way the Combat Commander feels. It's hefty without being a brick. The balance is awesome. It wields fast and the Novak rear sights line-up quickly on target without a great deal of effort. Again, I'm not 100% sure that all of the credit for being such a pleasant gun to shoot falls upon the dual-recoil spring design but, whatever it is, Colt got it right. It's a keeper.
Last edited by PatriotMD; 04-21-2019 at 01:44 PM.
Congrats on a fine pistol. I too like the Commander size for concealed carry.